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* Your nice diftinction betwecn jealousy and envy I must leave to the learned. I believe that Rachel was provoked to jealousy at the fruitfulness of Leah, and thought that she stood higher in the divine favour than herself; and the consequence was, that she envied her fifter. The apostles were provoked to jealousy when James and John craved their seats on the right and left hand of Christ in his kingdom ; and the other ten were filled with indignation against the two brethren. But, you may reply, Wisdom says, “ Who can stand before envy?” True. And in another breath she tells you what stirs it up: “ Jealousy is the rage of a man; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance." Solomon had learnt this by experience. God sent his prophet to Jeroboam to tell him that he should be king over ten tribes. This was a scourge to Solomon for his idolatry: and this provoked Solomon to such rage and jealoufy that he sought to kill Jeroboam. The latter could not stand before the envy of the former, and therefore, to save his life, he fled into Egypt..
If thou wilt nurse, suckle, swaddle, prate, and preach, go on: “ In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand, for thou canst not tell which shall prosper, either this or that,” either the envious or the jealous; “ or whether they shall both be alike good.” But thou wilt be a better judge of this than thou now art when thy preaching season is over; for “ there is
a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak.” Thou wast not very fit for the pulpit in this thy last high fit of the fever ; but that was nothing, either in weight or duration, to that which is yet to come. Walking with the footmen wearied Jeremiah; but afterwards he was called to contend with horses : and, when he was tired out in a land of peace, he was ordered to cope with the Twellings of Jordan. God will have us at his feet; and it is not a little crossing and trying that will bring us there, and keep us there. To be stripped of all comfort, and to be laid in irons for a whole year, and this attended with intolerable hardness of heart; to be left free among the dead, and be given up to the influence of a sleepy devil, who shall give you a dose of his opium under every prayer that is put up, and under every sermon that is preached; this, this will be worse than all the afflictions that have befallen little Ifaac. So I conclude, and so you shall confess. Call it one more fecret from the locks of Samson. :
In the Desert.
T. NOCTUA AURITA, of the Desert.
. The language of my heart at this. time is, Was ever one favoured with such a friend, counsellor, and guide, in this world before? There may be ; but this I can be certain of, that there never was one fo unworthy of it. Every epistle I receive from you knits and unites my heart more and more to you. O what a sweet bond is this which knits every member of Christ to each other, and to their head! Your last favour has unmasked Satan to my view in such a manner as must enrage him greatly. Little did I think that the inordinate affections, and the sounding of the bowels, came from him. I have felt something of it before, and do to this moment. O, my dear friend, pray for me, that I may have wisdom given me from above that I may not be ignorant of his devices! Never did I see him in so formidable a view before. Surely he desires to have me, that he may fift me as wheat; and, if the prayer of the great High Priest does not prevail on my behalf, I must fall by his temptations. Your epistle brought to remembrance many visits
paid to me in his white robes during these fix months past. O what praise is due to God for keeping me from falling by this snare of the fowler! I have had many of the lectures on election which you mention, and the doctrine applied, and his ends answered, in my last trial. Rebellion enough I felt. Safely he might withdraw for a seaton; he was sure he left me miserable enough. You have, indeed, prophesied of a dark path I have to travel, which has wrought fome discouragement in my heart. I am sure you will be a true prophet in all your predictions, and not one word of all you have spoken shall fall to the ground. Satan seems to me to be the most dangerous when he comes to bloat up the soul with pride. And I have found him approach in this way when I have been much in the enjoyment of divine love, as Mr. Hart says,
The heart uplifts with God's own gift,
I felt so much of this about seven months ago as made me abhor myself. This was a little before my journey to the Bower, when God met me by the way. Our dear pastor made an observation in the pulpit, about a week before I received your last favour, which firuck me very forcibly. It was this: that pride goeth before the desiruction of a finper, and a haughty spirit before the fall of a saint;
and observed, that it was the devil's aim to get us on this ground, and then he was sure to procure our fall. And your mentioning in yours the ways and means he makes use of to effect this, and that from your experience, was very seasonable to me; and I found that “ a word fitly spoken is as apples of gold in pictures of filver;" for the Lord makes me to fear this more than any thing. I am fenfible there can be no safety but at the feet of Jesus. But true it is, as you observe, it is not a little crossing and trying that will keep me there. I find I am wrong in my views of envy and jealousy. Pardon me, dear Sir; I have, perhaps, spoken for want of light. But you are looking forward to a time when, you fay, I shall be a better judge of it, even when my preaching time is over. Indeed, Sir, I aspire to no such things as preaching. · As you say, prate I do, and that when I should keep silence, which is known by the effects, by its bringing on me hatred and envy instead of love. I am often brought into snares by my tongue, which is an unruly member; and I have smarted both for my speaking and my keeping silence. But, if I am to be left free among the dead, laid in irons a whole year, and be given up to the sleepy devil, I believe my mouth will be shut with a witness. If any thing less than this would do it, I should be thankful.
However, I hope ever to have an interest in your prayers, and to be favoured with your cor